FAQs About Orthodontic Care

Orthodontic treatment is fairly common. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), at least four million people in the United States wear braces, a quarter of which are adults. An orthodontist is a dentist that specializes in alignment problems with the teeth and jaw. Also known as malocclusions, bite problems may require treatment with braces or preventive orthodontic appliances like space maintainers, for children who lose a tooth prematurely. Pediatric dentist, Dr. Ajit Patel, and orthodontist Dr. Joseph Errera, at Ashburn Pediatric Dental Center, offer comprehensive dental services and orthodontic treatment in Ashburn, Virginia.

How do I Know if My Child Needs to See an Orthodontist?

During a comprehensive oral exam, your pediatric dentist will be able to examine bite and jaw alignment and recommend further evaluation by an orthodontist if necessary.

When is Orthodontic Treatment Necessary?

Beyond the cosmetic results of straighter teeth and a more aesthetically pleasing smile, orthodontic appliances like braces help to correct a number of common alignment problems, including:

  • Spacing
  • Crowding
  • Overbite
  • Underbite
  • Crossbite
  • Open bite
  • Misplaced midline

Are Braces the Only Option?

There are several types of orthodontic appliances (fixed or removable), and the type you will need depends on a number of factors, like the severity and specific type of bite problem. Braces are one of the most well known and common options, but other treatments include:

  • Space maintainers
  • Headgear
  • Palatal expanders
  • Aligners
  • Retainers

Some appliances are preventive and are prescribed before a problem becomes serious enough to require braces.

How Will Braces Affect Diet?

Maintaining oral health and hygiene is just as important during orthodontic treatment. Avoiding foods that are likely to get stuck and potentially damage the wires on your braces is an essential part of treatment. Ask your dentist about the best food to eat while wearing braces.

Can You Play Sports/Musical Instruments While Wearing Braces or Orthodontic Appliances?

Although some sports may require the use of a mouthguard to protect the teeth and soft tissue (tongue, gums, lining of the cheeks) from injury, braces will generally not interfere with sports or playing instruments.

Is There an Ideal Age for Orthodontic Treatment?

Orthodontic treatment works by gently shifting the teeth into the correct alignment over time, which is typically easier to do when a person is younger and the bone structure is still developing. However it is never too late for orthodontic treatment, and a growing number of adults get braces or Invisalign later in life.

Find an Orthodontist in Ashburn, VA

Like all dental technology, braces and orthodontic treatment have improved to help you or your child get straighter teeth with less discomfort and disruptions than ever before. For more information on the best option for you, contact Ashburn Pediatric Dental Center by calling (703) 726-4333 to schedule an appointment today.

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